Studies have repeatedly shown that community design and development has a significant impact on: emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases; levels of physical activity and social cohesion; and rates of injuries and fatalities related to motor vehicles, which may include pedestrians and cyclists. This discussion paper is intended to: review the best available evidence related to health and land use planning in terms of walkability; define what is meant by “walkable and transit-supportive communities”; identify the opportunities for realizing these attributes within a Halton context; and, suggest the parameters that can inform the Sustainable Halton and Regional Official Plan review processes with respect to walkability. It is recognized that future public and agency consultation on this paper will take place through these processes and that some elements of this paper, such as community design and transit, fall under local municipal purview.
This report documents the current status of transit in Charlottesville and Albemarle County. It then reviews the factors that suggest a greater probability of the use of transit, develops a composite index of transit use and identifies those corridors and areas most likely to support transit services within the relatively near future (two to seven years). Conditions existing in the study area today are described, including the patterns of development and transit service. Those geographic areas that are most conducive to public transportation, based on a range of transit-supportive factors, are then identified.
Decades of uncoordinated land use and transportation planning have produced a common pattern of growth across North America – one of urban sprawl. Environmentally, economically and socially unsustainable, sprawl requires almost total dependence on the automobile and renders public transit ineffective. Out of synch with land use, transit has been a consistent money loser due to low ridership and poor service levels.
Smart growth and transit-oriented development proponents advocate increasing the density of new land development and infill redevelopment. This is partly in order to reduce auto use by reducing distances between trip origins and destinations, creating a more enjoyable walking environment, slowing down road travel, and increasing the market for transit. But research investigating how development density influences household travel has typically been inadequate to account for this complex set of hypotheses: it has used theoretically unjustified measures, has not accounted for spatial scale very well, and has not investigated potentially important combinations of measures.
How to Use this Manual
This is the first in our TOD 202 series of guidebooks to promote best practices in transit-oriented development. Following publication of “Why Transit-Oriented Development and Why Now?” our TOD 101 guidebook, we realized there is a need for more in-depth analysis and discussion for TOD practitioners. This 202 manual is intended to help with simplifying the complex decisions that surround planning for TOD projects and station areas by providing details about the scales of development likely to occur in different places, as well as station area planning principles and TOD plan checklists.
The manual begins with a discussion of seven ”TOD place types,” followed by a self-diagnostic questionnaire to help identify a particular station area place type in a TOD typology we have applied and refined in several regions around the U.S. There are also typologies of buildings and of the kinds of open spaces sometimes included in transit-oriented neighborhoods. All of…
This manual is intended to serve as a companion to MTC’s Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Policy and for Priority Development Areas under the Focusing Our Vision (FOCUS) program to assist jurisdictions with decisionmaking as they complete planning efforts around Bay Area transit hubs and corridors.
Transit-oriented developments (TODs) in the United States have been modeled almost exclusively with a half-mile radius as a reliable limit for pedestrian walkability from and to a light rail station. New research has emerged to challenge this standard, with data indicating that transit users may be apt to walk greater distances than previously estimated. Variables such as housing density, employment density, and urban design all significantly affect walking patterns. Those factors are analyzed as expanders or contractors of the TOD radius, and the implications that a fluctuating boundary might have on the future of urban growth are considered.
The MTC’s TOD policy conditions the allocation of capital funds for transit projects on supportive land use by local governments, in recognition of the fact that people who live, work and play in close proximity to public transit are more likely to use it. The TOD policy addresses several public goals: to improve the cost-effectiveness of transit investments, to ease the Bay Areas chronic housing shortage, to create vibrant new communities, and to help preserve regional open space.
For many Americans density is associated with ugliness, crowding, and congestion, even though it can be shown that, when properly planned and executed, higher density can save land, energy, and dollars. Moreover, many people—including some trained planners and designers—have difficulty estimating density from visual cues or distinguishing quantitative (measured) and qualitative (perceived) density. We tend to overestimate the density of monotonous, amenity-poor developments and underestimate the density of well-designed, attractive projects, thereby reinforcing the negative stereo•types. A primary objective of this work is to correct these misperceptions.
This book was commissioned by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy to help planners, designers, public officials, and citizens better understand—and better communicate to others—the concept of density as it applies to the residential environment. The need for such a work is borne out repeatedly by participants in…
This document shows how density affects planning for new students and new schools in Fairfax County Virginia. Specifically, we can see the specific ratios of students that will be generated by a new dense development. This is an example that cities and school districts can follow when discussing higher density housing additions to the community, and the expenses that result.